Due to it being Sunday and breakfast not available until 0800, it was not an early start as we headed out for our day in the country. We left Salisbury and made our way towards Zeals where we were to have morning tea with Sam and Kevin in their home that they have made out of a WW2 Airfield Control Tower and what a wonderful job they have done. But first we called in to view the Famous Fovant Badges. These badges were carved into the chalk cliffs by soldiers while training on the Salisbury Plains during WW1.They are kept in good condition by volunteers from the Fovant Badges Society, this year there had been an extra carving, not a badge but of a poppy signifying the 100 years since the Battle of the Somme commenced.
We left the badges and finally arrived, on time at Sam and Kevin's home. It was great to see them again as last year they were away and we missed them. They have done a great deal on the house and are at present putting in a new kitchen, all looks really good. We had coffee and enjoyed some of Sam's baking and then adjourned to the upstairs living room to take in the view of the old airfield and to look at in the distance the broken tree line where in 1945 a Dakota crashed through the trees killing all on board.
It would have been great to stay longer but we had areas to visit so we said farewell and proceeded on our way. Our next stop was at the site of that tragic crash and we conducted a small Service there and John read a prayer and Michael, our driver, laid a poppy in Remembrance. It was around 314 metres from where we parked the coach to the crash site but on the way we met a group who were looking at a "crop circle" that appeared in a wheat field. These circles are a strange thing that just appears out of nowhere...maybe a terrestrial being does it, or that is what many circle followers believe. However, you can use your own judgement whether they are real or not and you can check:
Good luck with your research.
After the viewing of the "outer limits" thing we went to the Red Lion Pub in Heytesbury to lunch. I had not been to the pub for 2 years and Martin remembered our last visit and again produced some wonderful food for us.
After lunch we went back into Sutton Veny, as we had passed through on our way to the Red Lion and we visited the CWGC in the grounds of the Church in the village. Many buried there died during the flu epidemic at the end of the War and the Matron, Edith Walker of the 1 Australian Hospital, was one of the victims. Inside the Church is an ANZAC Chapel and a list of those Australian interred in the Cemetery. A beautiful Church with outstanding coloured glass windows.
There is something else very interesting in the grounds of the Church Communion Cemetery. There is a Cross of Sacrifice in the grounds standing on a base that has the names of the members of the village who paid the supreme sacrifice during the War. Inscribed on the base is an Arthur C Pond AIF. It seems that Arthur had migrated to Australia, enlisted in the AIF and been a casualty in the War. The village it seems never forgot him and he is included with the other men lost from the village.
We finished the day off with a visit to Shaftsbury where the Golden Fete was in progress. It was mid-afternoon and the place was still buzzing with people. There were many stalls etc there and we made our way to the ruined Female Abby. Shaftesbury Abbey was an abbey that housed nuns in Shaftesbury, Dorset. It was founded in about 888, and dissolved in 1539 during the English Reformation by the order of Thomas Cromwell, minister to King Henry VIII. At the time it was the second wealthiest nunnery in England, behind only Sion Abbey. It is said that Alfred the Great was buried in the Abby as his daughter was the first Abbess after Alfred established the Abby in 888. His body was removed later and finally interred at Winchester Cathedral.
After such a good and varied day we headed 'home' for a well-rewarded drink.